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Understanding the Difference Between Counselling and Psychotherapy

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If you’re considering counselling or psychotherapy services, it’s important to understand the difference between these two types of therapy. Both counselling and psychotherapy are forms of talk therapy, which can help individuals gain insight into their thoughts and feelings in order to help them make positive lifestyle changes. However, there are some subtle yet important distinctions between counselling and psychotherapy. Let’s take a look.

Counselling is focused on helping people with specific issues or circumstances, such as anxiety, depression, relationship problems or career transitions. Counsellors are typically trained in one area of practice—such as marriage counselling or addiction counselling—and their goal is to help clients address immediate concerns with practical solutions. Counselling sessions tend to be shorter in duration than psychotherapy sessions, usually lasting no more than six months.

Psychotherapists also do counselling, but psychotherapy itself is a more comprehensive form of therapy that addresses deeper issues such as personality disorders or long-term emotional distress. It is based on the idea that mental health issues can result from unresolved traumas or negative experiences in childhood. Psychotherapists use a variety of techniques to help people identify patterns of behaviour that may be preventing them from living a fulfilling life and work towards making positive changes. Psychotherapy requires a greater commitment than counselling; it usually lasts much longer (sometimes for years) and involves exploring topics such as family dynamics, values and beliefs in order to gain an understanding about why certain behaviours exist.

In conclusion, both counselling and psychotherapy offer effective forms of talk therapy that can help individuals work through difficult thoughts and feelings in order to make positive changes in their life. The key difference between the two is that counsellors focus on helping clients address immediate concerns while psychotherapists have a more overarching approach that focuses on identifying patterns of behaviour over time in order to make lasting change. If you’re considering either type of service for yourself or somebody else, it’s important to speak with certified counsellors or therapists who specialize in your particular area of need so that you can ensure you get the most effective treatment possible.

If you are interested in learning more about how either counselling or psychotherapy might be able to help you, please feel free to reach out to either myself or another psychotherapist or counsellor in Waterloo or Kitchener at CARESPACE and we will be happy to help. It is easy to either book online or call our reception at (519) 208-2273 and remember the first online appointment is free.

Mia Ostovar

Mia Ostovar

Mia is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and a Registered Social Worker. Mia has worked closely with various demographics and diverse population within both micro and macro settings. She has supported and brought resources to communities through community development initiatives. In addition, she has provided clinical psychotherapeutic services to individuals ages sixteen and older. Mia uses an integrative approach, with a focus on Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Strengths-Based Therapy (SBT), Mindfulness-Based Therapy (MBT), Cross-Cultural Therapy (CCT), as well an informed approach to Trauma-Focused Therapy (TFT). Mia has knowledge and practical experience working with various psychiatric diagnosis like major depressive disorder (MDD), bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD), schizophrenia, as well as complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). In addition, she has provided therapeutic services to court mandated clients, those having problems related to their relationships, grief and loss, and anger/emotional regulation. Mia is available for in-person and virtual psychotherapy with TeleCARE.

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